Uberprufung der Bundesliga: Bayern overcome another scare, Schalke finally wake up, Leverkusen stay second
Game week 20 of the Bundesliga threw up a couple of interesting fixtures. Eintracht Frankfurt travelled to Gladbach on Friday night looking to keep themselves in the European picture, armed with talismanic striker Sebastien Haller. Freiburg went to Signal Iduna Park hoping to capitalise on a shaky Borussia Dortmund, who still look slightly short of confidence despite an early upturn in form when Peter Stoeger took the reigns in December. On Sunday, Wolfsburg visited Hannover searching for the win that would put some breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone. Let’s see how all these, and more, fared this weekend.
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 Borussia Moenchengladbach
Both these sides were victorious last week. Frankfurt beat Wolfsburg 3-1 at the Volkswagon Arena while Gladbach overcame Augsburg 2-0 at home. It would be Frankfurt who took all three points here though and that began when Kevin-Prince Boateng gave them the lead 2 minutes before half-time. Gladbach came back into the game and made it fairly even. Ala, it wasn’t to be for Dieter Hecking’s men though, and Luka Jovic sealed the points in the second minute of stoppage time.
Bayern Munich 5-2 Hoffenheim
These sides had contrasting fortunes last week. Bayern were given a scare by Bremen at the Allianz Arena but ultimately beat them 4-2. In Sinsheim, Hoffenheim were humiliated by Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 in a result which propelled their opponents into second place. This game would follow a similar pattern for Bayern, who fell behind again when Mark Uth put the visitors ahead within 2 minutes. On 12 minutes Hoffenheim made it 2-0 when Serge Gnabry, on loan from Bayern, doubled their lead. That was as good as it would get for Julian Nagelsmann’s side though. Robert Lewandowski sparked the comeback fuse on 21 minutes and Jerome Boateng equalise 4 minutes later. It would take until the second half for Jupp Heynckes’ boys to take the lead, but take the lead they did through Kingsley Coman on 63 minutes. Arturo Vidal put the game beyond doubt on 66 minutes and Sandro Wagner scored on his full debut, against the club Bayern signed him from, to add gloss to the scoreline.
Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Freiburg
Dortmund were only able to come away from the capital with a point last week following a 1-1 draw with Hertha. Freiburg fared much better having beaten Red Bull Leipzig 2-1 at home. Things would start well for the home side here when Shinji Kagawa put them 1-0 up in just the 9th minute, but things would soon unravel. Nils Peterson equalised on 21 minutes and put Freiburg ahead with half an hour left. It looked they’d hang on for another surprise defeat for Dortmund. However, Jeremy Toljan popped up in the third minute of stoppage time to rescue a point for Peter Stoeger and his men and save Dortmund’s blushes.
Cologne 1-1 Augsburg
Cologne’s 2-0 win over Hamburg last week aided their cause for survival, while Augsburg were disappointed to have gone down 2-0 in Gladbach. Cologne’s recent good form initially looked set to continue when Milos Jojic put them ahead 5 minutes before the break. However it wasn’t to be, and Caiuby managed to salvage a point for Maunel Baum’s men with 13 minutes of play left.
Red Bull Leipzig 1-1 Hamburg
Red Bull Leipzig were surprisingly beaten 2-1 in Freiburg last week. Things were much worse for Hamburg though, who lost 2-0 at home to bottom side Cologne. The loss has seen come within touching distance of the relegation zone and proved to be Markus Gisdol’s final game in the Hamburg dugout. Bernd Hollerbach’s first game in the Hamburg dugout didn’t get off to a good start though when Bruma gave Leipzig the lead on 9 minutes. Ralph Hassenhutl’s side couldn’t hold on though and Filip Kostic made it 1-1 just 20 minutes later. That’s how it would stay too as Hollerbach’s side would hold on for a solid point.
VfB Stuttgart 0-2 Schalke
Stuttgart played their part in a scintillating game against Mainz last week. However, it would be a losing part as they were eventually beaten 3-2. Schalke have been below par since the Christmas break, something which continued in their 1-1 draw with Hannover at home. Domenico Tedesco’s side would get back on track here though, winning the game in 5 minutes early in the game. First, Naldo would put Schalke 1-0 up on 14 minutes. Then Amin Harit would score what was ultimately the winner on 19 minutes to ensure the away side went back to Gelsenkirchen with all the points.
Werder Bremen 0-0 Hertha Berlin
Bremen gave Bayern a scare during their 4-2 defeat away last week, while Hertha also came close to shocking Dortmund in their 1-1 draw. In a game in which Bremen would have the best of play it would be they who would have the best chance. Jerome Gondorf was the man who was guilty of spurning it, hitting the post from the edge of the 6 yard box in the 74th minute. Alas, neither side would be able to break the deadlock though and the game would end goalless meaning the points would have to be shared.
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Mainz
Bayer Leverkusen’s 4-1 away win over Hoffenheim last weekend saw them climb into second in the table. Mainz were also able to claim a positive result, the 3-2 win at home to Stuttgart has gone a long way to helping their bid to avoid relegation. Mainz were dealt a blow here though and that started on 48 minutes when Leon Bailly put Leverkusen ahead. A sure thing was sealed 20 minutes later when Wendell scored from the penalty spot to make it 2-0, keeping Heiko Herrlich and his team second in the table.
Hannover 0-1 Wolfsburg
Hannover claimed a credible draw at the Veltins Arena against Schalke last week. However, Wolfsburg suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat at home to Eintracht Frankfurt. A single goal was all that was needed to win this one however, and it came from Yunus Malli on 72 minutes. That goal was enough to claim all the points for lowly Wolfsburg and put them 6 points clear of the relegation play-off place.
Game Week 21 Fixtures
Friday 2nd February
Cologne vs. Borussia Dortmund (19.30)
Saturday 3rd February
Hertha Berlin vs. Hoffenheim (14.30)
Mainz vs. Bayern Munich
Freiburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Schalke vs. Werder Bremen
Wolfsburg vs. VfB Stuttgart
Borussia Moenchengladbach vs. Red Bull Leipzig (17.30)
Sunday 4th February
Augsburg vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (14.30)
Hamburg vs. Hannover (17.00)